Ambulatory and outpatient centers constantly are challenged with administrating cancer treatments in an efficient and safe way. With the advent of numerous novel cancer medications known to cause hypersensitivity reactions, nurses have become experts in managing these emergencies. However, patients rarely exhibit severe infusion reactions or cardiopulmonary arrest. Outpatient nurse knowledge and comfort with grade 4, life-threatening emergencies requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitative measures often is low because of infrequent occurrence. That is largely a result of nurses' ability to immediately identify the need for emergency intervention, thus preventing the sequelae of patient deterioration that could lead to cardiopulmonary arrest. This article describes how the authors' institution developed methods to improve emergency care by bridging the gap between knowledge and experience of handling life-threatening emergencies.
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